Council sets hearing on pension bill

June 07, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

The County Council has scheduled a public hearing tonight on a bill that would increase the time an elected or appointed official who worked previously for the county or state must serve to qualify for a pension.

The bill, which was sponsored by Councilwoman Maureen Lamb, was prompted by concerns that the pension fund was being drained. Ms. Lamb, an Annapolis Democrat, blamed the rapid depletion of money on people with many years of state service who join the county work force for a short time and then retire with a full county pension.

The way the pension fund works now, an elected or appointed official who has 16 years of prior service as nonappointed staff with the county or the state could serve only one day in the elected or appointed position and retire with a full pension.

State law requires the county to honor the years of service accumulated by state employees who transfer to county service, but the employee does not have to transfer any pension money.

A new provision, applying only to those hired after July 1, would require the official to reach age 60 before retiring, or retire at age 55 providing he or she accumulated 30 years of service.

The bill also gives a 2 percent pension increase to veterans for each year of military service, to a maximum of 6 percent for three years of service.

The council also will consider a bill that would require its approval before the county leased any property for three or more years. This bill was prompted by allegations from Riva landlords that the county was leasing office space at its Heritage Office Complex at rates below market value, resulting in lowered market values for privately owned properties and the loss of some tenants.

The bill would exempt leases to county agencies or the state, recreational facilities or charitable organizations. Leases at the Arundel Center and the Arundel Center North also would be exempt.

The council will meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

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